Bethany couple loses home to apartment fire, officials blame faulty heater

BETHANY, Okla. – A Bethany couple is now searching for a place to call home after an overnight fire destroyed their apartment.

It was in the middle of the night when Rachel Norman said she and her boyfriend awoke to find smoke and flames surrounding their home in the Council Crossings Apartments.

Norman said, “He saw something glowing from the spare bedroom. When he opened the door, he saw the flames. It was already engulfed.”

The fire spread throughout the couple’s apartment before reaching a vacant apartment nearby.

Firefighters were able to put out the flames but not before it destroyed their home.

Norman said, “This was our music room, our spare bedroom. There were all sorts of guitars and everything in here.”

She added, “There’s nothing salvageable.”

Fire officials say they were able to pinpoint the cause of the fire to a faulty heater.

Battalion Chief Keith Cole, with the Bethany Fire Department, said, “We got a call about an electrical fire in the downstairs apartment. It appears the fire started in a heating closet area.”

This isn’t the first time Norman has had problems with the heater.

She says she complained to the management at Council Crossings multiple times about the faulty heater.

At one point, she says she went days without heat.

Norman said, “The last time that it broke, they came out and that’s when they said the contractors would change it after the first of the year. A few days later still hadn’t come and two weeks later, still hadn’t come.”

She says she doesn’t have renter’s insurance and hopes something like this never happens to anyone else.

Norman said, “You should put a little more importance and rush behind something, especially when it has something to do with electrical.”

NewsChannel 4 stopped by the management office at Council Crossings on Tuesday.

There were a few workers inside but none of them wanted to talk about the incident.